Umno dissidents to file contempt of court action

Haniff Khatri Abdulla says his clients also want the courts to suspend all Umno activities.

PETALING JAYA: A group of Umno dissidents sacked today are to begin committal proceedings against the party for contempt of court, their lawyer said.

The 16 members had filed a legal action against Umno yesterday for withholding party elections for five years. They were declared as automatically expelled today.

Their lawyer, Haniff Khatri Abdulla, said Umno secretary-general Tengku Adnan Mansor’s statement today, that their memberships were automatically terminated for taking the party to court, could be seen as interference with court proceedings.

“Umno knew of this action, and in our judicial review plea, we are also seeking to stay all Umno’s activities and affairs pending the disposal of our case.

The expulsion order was “a clear and blatant act of contempt (of court)”, he said. “We will file leave to start committal proceedings against (Umno) for disrespecting the court,” he told FMT.

He said the expulsion was arbitrary and unjust.

Tengku Adnan said earlier today that he would be issuing termination letters to the 16 Umno dissidents soon.

He accused opposition parties of masterminding the issue, in an attempt to discredit Umno before the May 9 general election.

In 2015, Langkawi Umno Wanita member Anina Saadudin was expelled a few days after she filed a lawsuit against party president Najib Razak regarding the deposit of about RM2.6 billion into a bank account in his name.

Yesterday, the 16 members, led by Seri Merpati Pandan Indah branch leader Salihudin Ahmad Khalid, filed an application for a judicial review of an extension of time granted by the Registrar of Societies for Umno to hold its elections next year.

They said the action was against the party constitution, and want the order to be quashed.

They also want the Registrar to investigate Umno for a breach of the party constitution and another order to suspend the party’s activities pending the court case.

They also seek an order to dissolve Umno from today on the ground that the party is now “illegal”.

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